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Thursday, April 11 • 3:20pm - 3:35pm
Get Your Results Seen & Understood More Quickly with Visual Metaphors

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How many eyes have you seen glaze over once you say the word “algorithm”? So many projects don’t see the light of day because people can’t champion what they don’t understand. How can you effectively communicate your analysis and results to an audience? Enter the humble visual metaphor. Humble because we use them so often that we don’t even notice! (e.g. the three metaphors crammed into the preceding sentences - eyes are doughnuts that can be glazed, projects are people that can see the sun and be championed, and visual metaphor is a person that can be humble). 
No one understands your work like you do, because you’re neck-deep in it all day. So when your audience is thrown in, they can drown in the details. But you can use visual metaphors as a life vest. They’re so effective because they use your audience’s existing knowledge to help explain the unfamiliar. 
When you learn how to incorporate visual metaphor into your presentations or charts, you are building a bridge from your analysis to a concept that your audience already understands. This technique not only has the benefit of communicating more effectively, but also making your work more memorable.
So how can you incorporate visual metaphor in your work? There are so many ways! You can simply use color and text like this famous example. Or use something that everyone understands (like dominos falling) as a structural metaphor for a complex concept like this example of backpropogation. In this session, you’ll learn some tactics to make your work get seen and understood by more people with the power of visual metaphors.

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avatar for Alli Torban

Alli Torban

Data Visualization Designer, American Enterprise Institute
Alli Torban is a Data Visualization Designer for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. where she transforms public policy research into meaningful graphics for decision-makers and the general public. She’s passionate about revealing the patterns and insights hidden... Read More →


Thursday April 11, 2019 3:20pm - 3:35pm EDT
Violet Crown: Theater 5 200 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA